The game already had been moved up a day out of concern for an icy weather forecast.
Instead, the Southwestern Conference game between Belleville East and Granite City was stopped after the first quarter due to slick conditions on the Warriors’ court.
Granite City Athletic Director John Moad said the gym floor hasn’t been the same since a new sealant was put down over the Thanksgiving break. Chemicals to pre-treat icy sidewalks, tracked in by students before school and during physical education classes, seem to have made the problem worse, he said.
“There’s a film on the floor, you can see it,” East coach Abel Schrader said. “You can see that the guys can’t plant their feet.”
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Moad said Southwestern Conference bylaws don’t address contingencies for a hazardous gym floor. He said the Granite City and Belleville East administrations will meet to determine the next step, but believes it will be a suspended game to be continued at a later date from the point at which it was stopped.
East was leading 18-7 when the game was stopped at the end of the first quarter.
“This is obviously a first,” said Southwestern Confernce commissioner Bill Schmidt. “In the spirit of fairness it seems like the game should be suspended and pick up from some point and everyone I’ve spoken to from both schools so far seem to be in agreement. That said, it will be up to the administrations to get together and decide what happens.”
As for the status of the gym floor and whether it can be resurfaced before season’s end, Moad had no definitive answer. He hoped the company that supplied the finish would be available Friday with plans to make the floor playable.
The floor’s new finish was applied by the Granite City High School maintenance staff, but Moad said he could not immediately recall the name of the product used.
The game originally was scheduled to be played Friday night, but was moved up 24 hours because of the threat of a winter storm which, according to the National Weather Service, has the potential to coat the area under three-quarters of an inch of ice.
The change of plans also accommodated a doubleheader with the girls varsity game, which Belleville East won on the same floor 73-53.
“The varsity boys game is a much faster game,” Moad said. “The conditions were more noticeable. It wasn’t safe.”
Belleville East entered the game with a record of 9-6. Granite City is 0-13.